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Update #1 Questions

1. What was the rationale behind introducing wolves to the Greater Yellowstone
Ecosystem (GYE)?
To help restore the Gray Wolves in the habitat that they were exterminated from
after the westward expansion.
2. Explain what a keystone species is and why they are essential to a particular
ecosystem. How do keystone species factor in the overall food web of that
A species that other species highly depend on for food as well as the balance of
the ecosystem. If they are gone, then there would likely be an overpopulation of a
certain class of species.
3. Wolf #8 showed a rare type of social behavior by adopting offspring that were
not his own. Why would this behavior be rare in mammals? How could this be a
beneficial behavior?
The majority of mammals see other animals as a threat and competition. However, by
adopting other animals, it he is reducing the threats in his area and perhaps
showing other possible threats that he is not violent or mean.

Update #2 Questions
1. Wolf #21 was obviously very successful at reproducing. Come up with a couple
hypotheses as to what made him this successful. How do you think he was able to
hold his alpha status for so long?
Because of his gentle and warm personality, he likely attracted more female wolves,
hence holding his alpha status.
2. His pack of 37 wolves did not last. Knowing what you know about factors that
limit population growth, why was this so? What is the difference between
interspecific and intraspecific competition?
The higher the population results in an increased demand for resources. There was
probably not a sufficient quantity of food and resources to sustain 37 wolves.
Interspecies competition means competition among many species, and intraspecies
means competition within a single species.

Based on what you have learned, write a claim regarding whether the reintroduction
of wolves was beneficial or caused more harm than good. In your opinion, what
efforts should be taken now in regards to the wolves. Use evidence to support your
The reintroduction of the wolf species was a good and well thought decision. This
decision will allow for the wolves to be reintroduced back into the environment
that had left during the westward expansion. It will save them from possible
endangerment and may contribute positively to the ecosystem. This is supported when
the author of the NPS article, Wolf Restoration, writes, �In the 1800s, westward
expansion brought settlers and their livestock into direct contact with native
predator and prey species. Much of the wolves� prey base was destroyed as
agriculture flourished. With the prey base removed, wolves began to prey on
domestic stock, which resulted in humans eliminating wolves from most of their
historical range.� As a result, this environment �simulation� will allow for them
to thrive and rehabilitate in a non-hostile environment.